This week, Danny talked with former Boston Celtic Kendrick Perkins:
DANNY PICARD: The Celtics are going to have an assistant coaching position opening up. If they came to you, is that something that you would be interested in?
KENDRICK PERKINS: Absolutely. I mean, there’s certain things you can’t turn down, and that’s one of them. And then being back in Boston, the city that basically raised me for my NBA career and were the first people to take a chance on me and stood by my side. You have no choice but to accept a job like that, man. And those jobs are not easy to come by, by the way. They have a lot of guys in this basketball world that’s been trying to get on a coaching staff in the NBA for a long time, and they haven’t had their opportunity. So if the opportunity was to present itself, I probably would really have to consider taking that job.
DP: Speaking of the Celtics, they’re a hot topic in this town, as you know. And you’ve been very outspoken about this Celtics team that lost in the second round to the Milwaukee Bucks. Now, we’re all trying to figure out what happens next and where this team goes . . . When you look back at this Celtics season, Perk, who should get the most blame for how it ended?
KP: At the end of the day, you got to look at the writing on the wall. I think if you’re watching the game and you’re watching the Celtics play, you can see it man. Last year, how they gelled together and was loving to play with one another. And then you’re watching this year, you could give a lot of blame to a lot of guys on the team, but you always have to start out with your leader. And the leader of the team was Kyrie [Irving]. I think Kyrie didn’t carry himself well. As the leader of the team, I didn’t think he led by example. He didn’t represent what Celtic pride was all about. And then you go down the line. You’re expecting more out of Gordon Hayward. Even big Al Horford, you’re expecting more out of him also. He didn’t really have his best games during the playoffs either. Jayson Tatum had a little drop off. It’s hard to place blame on Brad [Stevens], just because for the simple fact that I can only imagine what he was going through at that time, trying to control all the egos and stuff like that, and the locker room, and managing minutes. And you know that guys are not buying into your system, that’s pretty hard.
DP: What frustrated me the most out of Kyrie all year long was the things he said to the media. And then in that Game 5 postgame, he’s sitting up there saying, “This is no time to be disappointed.” And I couldn’t believe he said that, because if there’s ever a time to be disappointed, this would be it. If you were a teammate of his, and you heard him say that, how would you react?
KP: I watched it man, and it was very disturbing to watch. Just to listen to him say that just showed that, to me, he really didn’t care. He showed it to us, so I had to believe it, like, ya, this guy don’t really care about being in Boston. Obviously he don’t know what it means to play for the Celtics, in my opinion. At the end of the day, I listened to it, and part of me, that’s what made me come out and say he was a poor leader and he didn’t care. He didn’t lead by example. You don’t get knocked out of the playoffs and just feel that type of way. He was talking about how he couldn’t wait to finish watching the Bucks play and stuff like that. And I’m looking at it like, man are you serious? Is this really coming out your mouth right now?
DP: The rumors with Kyrie involve him going to the Knicks, and lately, we’ve been hearing about the Lakers. I’ve been saying for a while, “Don’t sleep on the Lakers with Kyrie.” And people laugh at me and say, “Kyrie would never want to play with LeBron again.” My theory with those two is that they didn’t dislike each other as much as everybody seems to believe, and I think Kyrie would go to the Lakers.
KP: You’re 100 percent right. LeBron and Kyrie never had a problem. There was a never a beef between those guys. I wouldn’t be surprised either if he ended up in LA.
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